Many women with a silver jewelry collection also have a collection of silver chains and bracelets broken or damaged to continue wearing them. The advantage of solid silver jewelry is that they never lose their metal value.
It's easy to melt these jewelry scraps into a silver nugget that can be resold or reused to make a new silver jewelry at a lower cost.
Free Bonus : Download our complete guide on silver jewelry (fr).
Little material needed
You'll need a brick and a blowtorch.
A kitchen blowtorch will be enough if you want to melt small pieces of jewelry. Otherwise it's necessary to use a conventional torch such as those sold in DIY stores.
We use butane to refill the torch (sold in supermarkets refills for lighters or torches).
In the case of silver jewelry debris to melt to make a nugget, just make a small pile with silver debris in the middle of the brick, then heat with the torch.
The flame's blue color indicates a temperature of about 1200 ° Celsius, and pure silver melts towards 962 ° C. Our jewels aren't pure, they contain a little copper so their melting temperature is a bit lower.
By melting, silver forms a molten ball that easily binds with other molten silver balls. You'll also need pliers to facilitate the handling of still hot silver balls.
This following video (fr) summarizes this process :
We obtain a silver nugget of a dark gray, result of the combustion residues mixed with the molten silver.
This part is more delicate. Silver nuggets must be immersed in a nitric acid bath (concentration unknown) to dissolve silver and copper after several hours (or days).
Then, it's necessary to add a saline solution that will create silver chloride as a precipitate. It can then be filtered and isolated from the rest of the metals that made up the silver of our jewels.
Once dried, the precipitate becomes a silver powder that can be remelted to obtain a pure silver block. This purification process is spread over several days.
Update : You can consult this article on silver purification (fr) which will give you additional indications. You can also watch our video on this subject.
Video of silver melting by kitchen blowtorch
(Source : Lyonnaise Solyfonte company specializing in foundry since 1991)
If you want to get money from several jewels to make a small ingot to bring to a jeweler, you'll first need a crucible to melt your silver.
To sink silver in a container shaped like your ingot, it's useful to dig a cell in a piece of solid wood, or to make a solid wood frame with a wooden bottom (the most economical).
Then you cast the melted silver into the mold. It will burn, but in a few seconds the silver will cool down and your wooden mold won't be destroyed. Be aware, however, that the true method is to sink the molten silver into a plaster mold.
Then go to your jeweler to use your ingot to create a new jewel. Your jeweler will then test the silver quality (fr) you bring him.
Case of silver plated jewelry
Melting silver plated jewelry is useless. The silver layer on these jewels is so thin (a maximum thickness of a few tens of microns) that it represents almost no value.
Moreover, by melting these jewels, you'll mix silver with the rest of the metal of the jewel. You'll get a very poor silver alloy that won't present any interest, resale or other jewelry.
Free Bonus : Download our complete guide to silver jewelry (fr).
You'll discover everything you need to know to shop online or in store.
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